The girls game was delayed by some 30 minutes due to some scheduling and administrative snafus. But things were settled and the game proceeded. Alas, it wasn't much of a game. The visiting team, which only was carrying six players, blew out the home team easily. I've seen the visiting team before. Most of the players have played varsity since they were freshman and looked to be the savvy veterans while the home team seemed very young and inexperienced.
Thanks to the blowout in the first game, the boys game only started about 10 minutes behind it's scheduled time. The visiting team was a little deeper and a little more talented but the home team probably had the best player overall. The visiting team led most of the way and had to withstand a late run by the home team and won by about 8.
From an officiating perspective, there wasn't a lot to write home about with the girls game. My partner and I called our share of fouls but as the visiting team piled on the points, everything just turned into game management. While the visiting team did ultimately win by over 40 points, they spent most of the second half walking the ball up and working on their half court offense.
On the other hand, the boys game had a little bit of everything:
- The home team struggled defensively. They just couldn't keep their hands off the visiting team. That resulted in a ton of hand checking fouls. Fans booked one of my calls when the player placed his hand on the offensive player and never took it off.
- High school players maybe watch a little too much of the NBA. After a made basket by the home team, one of the players grabbed the basketball and bounced it to the wall. My partner called a delay of game warning (the right call). Later on in the game, another home team player (can't remember if it was the same player) once again grabbed the basketball after a made basket and slapped it to the wall. Given the game was super close, I was tempted to NOT call a technical foul. Alas, the visiting team players were aware of the warning issued and I decided to call the technical to the confusion of the fans.
- One new thing this year in high school basketball is there is a "warning" can be issued to a coach who may be acting out but not to the extent that a technical is necessary. In the past, warnings were casual and very informal. This year, the high school rules gave referees the ability to issue a warning to the coach and note the time / quarter this warning was issues in the scorebook. I did my first warning during the boys game. My partner made a correct foul call but the home team coach was furious and jumping on the sidelines. Now, he didn't completely berate my partner. The coach was just a tad emotional. After my partner reported the foul, I told the coach that he couldn't act out the way he did on the sideline. I issued the warning. The rest of the game was handled without incident.
- There were a few free throw violations called toward the end of the game. I even called an offensive player for faking to cause the defender to violate. I froze for one second as I wasn't exactly how to call it. I finally just said "free throw violation on white" and moved on. LOL
Despite the game being frosh / soph, there were a good number of fans and it made for a very lively pre-season game. It's these kind of games that made officiating fun. Unfortunately, not every game will be this competitive.